It’s Time to Give Thanks

by Belinda Rosenblum

With investments and retirement accounts taking a hit, and the economy continuing it’s (temporary) downward spiral, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have. . . and what feels like there’s little chance we’ll ever be able to afford. How fortunate that Thanksgiving comes this week, to remind us to be grateful, to reflect upon and appreciate ourselves, our health, our loved ones, and all that we do have.

At Thanksgiving, I am reminded of one of my favorite passages from Jack Canfield’s KEY to Living the Law of Attraction, in which he reminds us to try to be grateful for even the most challenging circumstances in which we find ourselves:

It is often through these situations, that we experience the most profound spiritual and emotional growth. You can learn to view each apparent obstacle as an opportunity to develop a new quality, strength, skill, insight or wisdom and be grateful for the lessons. Each challenge is an opportunity for growth and expansion. Rise to these occasions, and appreciate all that you are learning in the process.

Along with that inspiration, I’d like to share a few practical tips that I’m grateful to have learned, and that will help you put money in your pocket as you start into the holiday home stretch.

Save on food and groceries:

  • Eat what you have. Open your pantry, throw out anything that’s expired, and make a plan for using the rest before it, too, goes to waste. Pull out your favorite cookbook or search recipes on the internet to get good ideas; you may even find a new favorite!
  • Buy what you’ll eat. If you buy 5 pounds of shrimp on sale, but can only eat 2 before they rot, they weren’t a very good bargain.
  • Look for value. Is a brand name product really better than a cheaper store or generic brand? Do a taste test; you may be surprised.
  • Fake a night out. Use inexpensive home décor, music and lighting to recreate the ambience of your favorite restaurant, right in your own dining room.
  • For more savings on groceries, click here for a “Grocery Battle Plan

Save on clothing:

  • Shop your own closet. In the back of your closet are the things you loved, bought, and never wore. Bring them out, figure out how to make them work with your daily standbys, and learn to love them all over again. Try to get a lower “cost per wear” out of everything you have.
  • Shop your friends’ closets (with their permission of course). Clothes swaps bring new life to those beautiful clothes that just don’t quite fit as well anymore, and make for a creative girls night in. What is now too big for your friend, may fit you perfectly. Leave with lots of “new-to-you” clothes!
  • Ask if there are any sales that would apply to you. I’ve personally saved over $400 in one store on this one!
  • Embrace your personal style. This is no time for keeping up with the Joneses (and in truth, even the Joneses are having trouble keeping up). Instead, stick with tried and true pieces that look great on you. If you need to replace something, look for low-priced basics (hello, Target!) and quality on sale. Sign up for sale alerts like shopittome.com, which delivers sale notifications on your selected brands and sizes directly to your inbox, so you know when those perfect black pants are—finally—half-price.
  • Don’t buy bargains just because they are bargains. If you wouldn’t want it at full-price, you won’t wear it at half-price.

One thing we all have is the ability to change course, to improve our lives in small and meaningful ways. You can be successful and smart with money, no matter what decisions you have made in the past. Embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving; be thankful that you are alive and that you can learn from your challenges and make a difference in your financial health.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Belinda Fuchs, CPA and Wealth Coach, is the founder and chief money motivator of OwnYourMoney.com and host of Boston’s newest TV talk show “Money On Your Mind.” If you’re ready to make more, save more and stress less about your money, get your FREE money success tips from Belinda now at:www.OwnYourMoney.com.

Originally published on November 2008

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